How We’re Using Influencers to Drive Engagement on Social Media: A HubSpot Experiment

How We're Using Influencers to Drive Engagement on Social Media: A HubSpot Experiment. Social media algorithms are designed to serve audiences up the most relevant, interesting content possible -- after all, social networks are about being social, and Instagram and Facebook want you spending more and more time within the apps interacting with friends -- and content -- you love. How We're Increasing Engagement on Social Media 1) Using Influencers and Gamification to Leverage Engagement Facebook and Instagram each adjusted its respective news feed algorithm a few times last year. The answer to getting noticed in busy news feeds is to get people clicking, viewing, and interacting with your posts. The Goal: We want to cultivate more engagement with our Instagram posts by creating our own influencer pod. Whenever someone posts new content, they let the group know, and if the other companies find the post interesting, they will like the post and write a genuine comment on the post. The Goal: We want to help our audience engage with content we think they'd love by running an Instagram comment contest. 2) We post an Instagram Story when we're getting ready to publish a new Instagram post as part of the contest that urges followers to be among the first people to comment "#First60" for the chance to win a prize. The Results: Like the influencer pods, this Instagram contest generates 10-20 additional comments per Instagram post. Similarly, comments, likes, views, and shares are signals to social media algorithms that the content is authentic and that people like it.

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Ask any social media manager what they stress out about on any given day, and the answers you receive may vary.

Some worry about having enough content to publish while others might worry about posting on the company page from their personal account. But almost all social media pros will agree upon one: news feed algorithms.

Social media algorithms are designed to serve audiences up the most relevant, interesting content possible — after all, social networks are about being social, and Instagram and Facebook want you spending more and more time within the apps interacting with friends — and content — you love.

But recent algorithm changes on major social networks have also made it tougher for brands and publishers to get content noticed and surfaced in busy news feeds — where billions of people are sharing content every day around the world.

We’ve started experimenting with different ways to leverage content on social media. Posting more frequently isn’t the answer — it’s posting great content that people want to share and interact with. Read on to learn more about the experiments we’re running and the early results we’ve seen.

How We’re Increasing Engagement on Social Media

1) Using Influencers and Gamification to Leverage Engagement

Facebook and Instagram each adjusted its respective news feed algorithm a few times last year. Instead of showing news need updates in chronological order, both algorithms now favor content from friends and family over publishers, and content that users interact with — by liking, commenting, viewing, and sharing posts.

Social media algorithm changes can be tricky for publishers and marketers — especially when we read stress-inducing statistics about Facebook’s algorithm reducing organic reach for publishers by roughly 40% over the last few years.

The answer to getting noticed in busy news feeds is to get people clicking, viewing, and interacting with your posts. But how can you get noticed in the first place — especially when there are so many users and pages also competing for attention?

We started experimenting with mobilizing and incentivizing our Instagram audience to engage more frequently with our posts. We’re rewarding people we think will love our content and engage with it by helping them see it first — and in some cases, win prizes.

The Goal:

We want to cultivate more engagement with our Instagram posts by creating our own influencer pod. Influencer pods are made up of — you guessed it — influencers in a particular vertical. They join specific, invite-only groups to engage with one another’s posts in an authentic and mutually beneficial way. Pods help content get viewed higher up in the Instagram feed, which makes it easier for even more people engage with the content — in their feeds, or in the Explore tab.

The Experiment:

We created our own influencer pod with several other well-known companies creating great content in similar worlds to us, such as social media, technology, and design companies. Whenever someone posts new content, they let the group know, and if the other companies find the post interesting, they will like the post and write a genuine comment on the post. Check it out in action:

influencer-pod-example.png
The Results:

Our pod has started to generate 10-20 additional comments per Instagram post from relevant influencers within HubSpot’s vertical. These engagements help us (and fellow pod members) rank in Instagram’s feed, and they inspire a little social proof, too. If Instagrammers see influencers and companies they know and love engaging with HubSpot on Instagram, they might want to check us out, too.

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